Of Particular Significance

Updated the Article on the Implications of the Higgs Search

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

POSTED BY Matt Strassler

ON 09/08/2011

I have updated the article laying out some of the implications of the search for the Higgs particle, as of September 2011.  In particular, I filled in the last two subjects in the table of contents:

  1. The Standard Model Higgs particle
  2. A Standard Model Higgs sector but with Other New Particles
  3. The case of two Higgs particles
  4. The case of five Higgs particles
  5. Supersymmetry: Five Higgs particles along with superpartners [new!]
  6. No Higgs particle (to speak of) [new!]

If you’d like to learn a bit about how Higgs particles work in supersymmetric theories, and about how a theory can have a Higgs field but no Higgs particle, you may enjoy taking a look at the new material.  Implications of the Higgs searches so far are still rather limited for these two cases, but the article describes what you should keep an eye on, and why.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Matt,

    I know you are trying to address the masses, and do not know what your feelings are about other theoretical physicsts on this site (I know some other bloggers do not want others stealing their thunder), but as far as I am aware there is no real public forum for professionals, apart from conferences – which are themselves very limited . Anyway if you do not wish that kind of thing, please tell me.

    In regards to the no Higgs scenario on your other page, my view is that you missed one very likely possibility – no Higgs, no technicolor, no supersymmetry – all that stuff being wrong. And this is now not as outlandish now as it sounds. A low width SM Higgs is now very unlikely. With no supersymmetric particles seen, by all previous standards in physics, that theory deserves to be called a speculation. It is really very unlikely. Technicolor – it has really had a tough time to get it not to disagree with experimental facts as they are known now, in which process it has lost much of its appeal. Sure one can say there are many variants of the above two theories according to which nothing should yet be seen. But the point is that as old frontiers fall (a metaphor for a theory version) one can always twist and turn and introduce new parameters to put up a new bastion. Really Feynman was right, when presented with a variant of superstrings, its not the desire of agree with experiment that should tell you how many dimensions to compactify, but the theory itself.

    1. No disagreement with your main point. I didn’t mean to imply, through the current form of the webpage, that I’d been comprehensive. I used technicolor merely as an example of how there might be no Higgs, and supersymmetry as an example of how there could be quite a few Higgs particles. Of course there are other possibilities that we know about, and still others we haven’t stumbled on yet. The one thing for sure is that if there is no Higgs, there is something else — because the equations of the Standard Model are inconsistent as they stand on their own. Beyond that, nothing should be taken for granted.

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A decay of a Higgs boson, as reconstructed by the CMS experiment at the LHC


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